About this project
Lovely Little Thieves logo design by Brady Hartel.
Click the button below to download the free demo for PC, Mac, or Linux!
Spans 3-4 hours and 40+ choices!
Lovely Little Thieves is a visual novel game, an interactive story driven by text, art, and most importantly, an enormous range of choices that puts the lives (and deaths) of an unpredictable girl and her five friends in the player's hands. There are nine possible "fates" in store for these teenage trespassers, ranging from gruesome tragedy to greatest triumph, and even a little bittersweet romance in-between. From the horrific to the hopeful, each of these nine endgames can happen in dozens of different ways, with thousands of overall journeys the player could take to get there, making each playthrough of Lovely Little Thieves unique. We hope you will enjoy the free demo, and PangoDango Games' first step into interactive storytelling.
Now that you know what we're all about, let's get to the gory details...
Dawn didn’t know what to expect when she agreed to pile into a van with a mixture of friends and acquaintances and take a road trip down to Daytona Beach for spring break. She spent her entire freshman year studying her butt off at university, and she’s never really been out partying. At least…not that she can remember. Strange, horrible dreams of feeling her heart and mind slowly freeze solid in an endless black void haunt her long after she’s woken up, and make it hard for her to keep in touch with reality at all, much less get excited about a week of block partying at the ass-end of the country. Not one day into the long drive, however, the group’s van breaks down in the middle of a thick forest in northern Virginia. With no help in sight and the sun rapidly setting, the gang seeks shelter in a dilapidated hilltop mansion, marked only with the number “72.”
Her friends are determined to go in, but nearing the estate reminds Dawn of the cold, isolated terror of the dark world in her dreams. It’s not long before her premonitions are proven true, as the group finds a desiccated corpse sitting up in the dining room and far worse surprises in the basement. The would-be spring breakers rush the door and hammer at the windows, but some supernatural force has locked them inside. What’s worse, the assumed house number “72” turns out to be another warning: the number warps and shifts lower every hour, counting down to an unknown fate at the end of their 3-day visit. She doesn’t know it yet, but the lives of her companions are in Dawn’s hands. The people she puts her trust in and the choices she commits to determine who survives the tale, as the house becomes more hostile hour by passing hour. Dawn must learn to fight for what she truly believes before the sun sets on the final day, or the master of this haunted house will claim all the little thieves that have wandered into his maw.
Story, Script, and Head of Development
Lovely Little Thieves is the brainfart, erm--"brainchild" of Hope Chapman, who has been a fan of the visual novel medium for about four years and avidly writing since she could pick up a pencil. (Thank god for computers, though. Her handwriting is atrocious.)
Most of her published work is in the form of media critique, with many written reviews at Anime News Network, where she now works as assistant editor. Prior to that, she developed an online presence as video reviewer "JesuOtaku," discussing anime and narrative theory on Youtube and TGWTG.com.
This will be her first visual novel project under the label PangoDango Games, and she couldn't be more excited! (Or nervous.)
Character Design and Lead Artist
Michelle Henderson (Tengu Arts) is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer from bonnie Scotland! She has been working in the digital arts for 8 years and is thrilled to be working on Lovely Little Thieves! (You can follow her on facebook and tumblr as well!)
Inspired by a love of animation and video games, the desire to work as a concept artist and character designer is what fuels her work. Visual novels were an area of interest for her as a unique platform for gaming and interactive storytelling, so when she was approached by Hope to work on the project Lovely Little Thieves she jumped at the chance!
Michelle looks forward to working with the PangoDango Team to bring you the full version of Lovely Little Thieves!
Background and Scenery Artist
Jack has only contributed two backgrounds so far for Lovely Little Thieves - the mansion house and main hallway that can be seen in the demo. However he is extremely excited by the world and stories that Hope has created and couldn't be happier to contribute more to the project. If the kickstarter successfully meets its goal, Jack will be back on-board to help bring the world of LLT to life through background paintings. Jack is a concept artist and illustrator with a passion for world building and visual storytelling within the fantasy genre whose work can be found in various places around the internet. He can be most frequently found at his facebook or deviantart pages as well as his website.
Barry Peddycord III
Barry Peddycord III, the assistant programmer for Lovely Little Thieves, specializes in making the impossible possible and fixing things when they break horribly. He dabbles in game development in his free time and got his start in visual novels working on the demo for Camelia Girls. Outside of games, Barry is pursuing his PhD in Computer Science and is an academic at heart. He is fairly active on Twitter, writing under the handle @isharacomix.
UI Design and CG Artist
Stephanie, aka Auro-Cyanide, worked on the GUI for Lovely Little Thieves as well as a couple of the CGs.
Professionally she is a graphic designer, but has been working on art for visual novels as a hobby for around 4 years now. Her work has mostly been as the artist for the visual novel group Cyanide Tea with brief liaisons with other writers and groups to create short games. She isn't a commission artist, preferring to work for free on projects and opportunities she truly enjoys.
Visual novels were the perfect medium for her passion of art and stories, allowing her to grow as an artist while having fun creating worlds and characters.
Deji is a chilean freelance illustrator that spends her days living the freelance illustration life drawing for visual novels and other anime-loving clients.
She likes cute things and bloody things equally!
Sometimes she also pretends she can teach.
Ken Clayton is a Musician, Composer, and Earthbound Soundtrack Enthusiast based in Ottawa, Canada. His music, which can be heard in the demo of Lovely Little Thieves, combines organic and digital sound into moody soundscapes and strong melodic lines. The easiest way to contact him is at https://twitter.com/thekenton and his music can be found at https://www.youtube.com/KentonClay
New Team Additions!
We have a bevy of new artists joining us post kickstarter launch and are happy to introduce them and the amazing work linked to their names below:
These artists will form the "CG team" and will produce the high quality CG images seen in the most intense or emotional moments of the story, when sprites and backgrounds just aren't enough to convey the impact. There are three such images in the demo, but there will be 60-80 in the final game.
We are also proud to announce the addition of a new composer to our team! Matt Collins will be joining us to flesh out the musical score of Lovely Little Thieves and lend our story a spooky and pulse-pounding aural atmosphere. You can check out his music on his website here!
Note: All funds accounted here are estimates meant to cover for not only the assets themselves, but potential taxes tied to those assets. The expectation is also that with the minimum full funding of $20,000, PangoDango will still be supporting several elements of the game's completion out of pocket. These estimates are meant to make all stray out-of-pocket expenses stress-free and easily manageable for us.
CGs/Major Art: This is the biggest budgetary consideration for the game, which will have at least 60-80 CGs altogether, and more if we can swing it. (CGs are full-color art spreads used to convey major story events or emotional moments. You see three in the demo for example.) Because Lovely Little Thieves will ultimately be an action/horror-heavy story, (and the tender stuff needs some love in the art as well,) we want to show this through as many awesome images as possible, at the level of quality you see in the demo.
Character/Incidental Art: The various incidental pieces of art you see in the game, from key objects to hints of the supernatural to character flourishes, will also need to be expanded greatly for the full version. There may be a few characters you haven't seen at all yet!
Scene/Background Art: While stock backgrounds are mostly used for the demo, the mansion exterior and its interior hallway, designed by Jack Eaves, are finalized pieces indicative of the style for the finished game. There are many rooms and environments in Lovely Little Thieves, along with partial backgrounds that may need to be integrated into some special CGs, so this is a very important budgetary consideration.
Original Music/SFX: Lovely Little Thieves will have an entirely original score, with sound effects both original and from legal-use libraries. While some of the music heard in the demo will be kept for the final version, most of it will be replaced with more fitting tracks produced in the coming year.
Voice Acting: Lovely Little Thieves will be heavily voice-acted, although "fully voice-acted" isn't quite accurate. The game will employ RPG-like "reaction noises and short phrases" voicing for all sprite-dominated scenes, but will become fully voiced instead whenever a CG event is onscreen, as these are the most emotionally important scenes in a visual novel. (This means the "car scene" at the top of the demo would be fully voiced, but most scenes after it would be "partially voiced.") Like all sound elements, voices can be toggled on and off, even down to individual characters. (The protagonist's spoken dialogue will be voiced, so for any VN fans who aren't crazy about that, it's optional.)
Writing, Editing, and Coding: These elements certainly do cost money, but since the pocketbook behind PangoDango belongs to its lead writer (who also does a ton of the programming,) these will be facilitated out of pocket to focus on completion of the outsourced elements. (Any assistant programmers will also be compensated out of the pre-KS budget for the game's completion.)
Kickstarter Fees: The standard 10% for Kickstarter and Amazon, those wily wascals.
If our kickstarter reaches $25,000, we will produce and distribute to all backers a 30-page black-and-white standalone comic (with color cover) detailing the backstory of Lovely Little Thieves' mysterious villain. Some of his story will be covered by the game itself, but this comic will give a more visual picture of exactly how he came to be.
If the kickstarter gets up to $30,000, we will produce a 90-second animated "opening theme" for the game, like many modern Japanese visual novels have. This animation may be minimal or more complex based on what is financially feasible, but the theme song will definitely be 80s-tastic! (Full disclosure: we would love to do something in the style of Bad Apple!! visually, playing with the silhouettes of our cast, but can't make any promises yet. It would be cool, though!)
Rewards are as described in their respective tiers. If you have any questions about them, or any other aspect of the project, let us know and it will be added to our FAQ!
$60 Reward Tier Sticker Sheet!
$60 Reward Tier Button Pack!
Risks and challenges
Lovely Little Thieves is a very important project for us, now a full year in the making. (3 months of story development and finalizing all continuity/branching paths + 6 months of art production, revisions, and backend coding + 3 months of scriptwriting and frontend coding = one full year! Whew!) Our team has taken every precaution possible to deliver the full game within just one more year of production, and we want our backers to be kept up to speed on all the action!
Backers at the $50 tier or higher will have beta access to the game as each of its in-story "days" are completed. Just as the demo ends at midnight on "Day 0", so too will the three stages of beta release end at "Day 1," "Day 2," and finally "Day 3," each day climaxing in its own little horrific or romantic cliffhanger depending on the choices you have made so far. With the help of these beta testers, the final game will be released, covering all three days of story, at the end of this final year of production.
If complications arise at any stage, all visitors to the kickstarter page will be kept in the loop through updates as soon as possible. We also hope to share positive in-progress sneak peeks with our backers, but "viewer beware" for spoiler warnings in those: don't worry, we'll warn you first! However, in the case of production mishaps, you will be notified of any delays or complications every step in the way. After all, you're the ones making this game possible! Thank you for believing in our project and we hope to share its full story with you very soon.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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